CenturyLink targets enterprises with hosted private cloud services

CenturyLink's Private Cloud runs on dedicated hardware

CenturyLink Technology Solutions has unveiled a private cloud offering aimed at large organisations, delivering the same capabilities as its public cloud services but operating on dedicated hardware and offering greater security and isolation that some customers prefer.

Available commercially from Wednesday, CenturyLink Private Cloud delivers the agility and innovation of a public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud, but with the physical isolation, dedicated hardware and security standards that many large enterprises require, the firm said.

CenturyLink’s director of product management Richard Seroter told V3: “This is a private cloud service that runs in our data centres and fills that gap between those who are trying and possibly failing to do things on premises, and those who have maybe taken a step to public by doing things like colocation and managed hosting, but they are not fully there on public cloud.”

The CenturyLink Private Cloud service is being made available from all of CenturyLink’s 57 data centres around the globe, according to Seroter, which means that customers should be able to find a location close enough to keep latency between their site and their private cloud down to a minimum.

Meanwhile, the fact that the service runs on dedicated hardware means customers know exactly where their workloads are running and where any data is stored, which is not always the case for public cloud services.

However, each private cloud instance is federated into CenturyLink’s public cloud infrastructure, which enables customers to easily scale out by provisioning public cloud resources if and when required.

CenturyLink’s cloud platforms are based on technology and assets the firm gained through the acquisition of service providers Savvis and Tier 3 over recent years.

It is underpinned by VMware technology, but Seroter said that CenturyLink presents the infrastructure to customers “like a black box” with access via application programming interfaces (APIs) and the same Control Portal tool that is used by the firm’s public cloud customers.

“For an end user, their goal is to launch workloads into a platform with a high SLA (service level agreement) where I can get the resources when I need them,” he said.

The billing model is also different from public cloud services, because customers are signing up to have access to a dedicated set of hardware resources for a multi-year commitment, rather than consuming just the resources required on a pay-as-you-go basis.

However, this service is aimed at large organisations that need the level of control and security that only dedicated infrastructure can offer, as well as “four nines” availability [99.99 percent uptime], Seroter said.

“This is not meant for someone dipping their toe in private cloud, a federal government cloud perhaps. It is meant for customers that have significant need for workloads, for enterprises that need to keep things internally,” he explained.

CenturyLink Private Cloud is available now, with a lead time to get a cloud deployed, but Seroter claimed that most customers will be able to go “from nothing to hybrid cloud within 90 days”.

Earlier this year, CenturyLink announced cuts to the cost of its public cloud services in order to better compete against the likes of Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure.

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20 August 2014 | 11:00 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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